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5 Hacks for a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy

In the last few decades, there have been massive discussions on digital evolution and how it will revolutionize businesses and transform every aspect of our life, be it work or fun. According to a report by IDC, the direct digital transformation (DX) investment will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.5% from 2020 to 2023 and is expected to reach $6.8 trillion.

Global business giants are keeping an eye on this digital shift and are quickly adopting new KPIs to stay ahead of the competition. They are using real-time data and analytics to improve their business and introduce innovative products and techniques to drive their DX strategy, intending to deliver exceptional consumer experiences. 

It is evident in a 2020 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey in which 47% of companies believe that the pandemic has permanently accelerated digital transformation and the adoption of emergent technologies.

Now, the question is, how do organizations ascertain that their DX strategy will be a hit or a miss? Although it is difficult to be definitive about the success or failure of a strategy before implementing it, there are certain aspects to keep in mind while developing the strategy that can improve its success rate.

We are discussing five hacks that can help you improve the success rate of the DX strategy in your organization.

1. Resolving business issues

While technology is at the heart of every DX strategy, it is not the only factor that defines it. Technology is just a medium, a channel that can help clear a business roadblock, like any other business strategy. Treating technology as an answer to all business problems may not always be the right approach. We must maintain a holistic, technology-centric approach while designing our DX strategy. 

For instance, NLB services helped a global manufacturing company increase its overall work efficiency and productivity by developing a mobile app where employees could mark their log-in and log-out time. The app also served as an attendance marker, saving employees from the hassle of waiting in a queue to mark their in and out time on a register.    

On the surface, it may seem like an elementary application, but it did help save 1-3 minutes, on average, every day for around 10,000 employees, eventually reducing payroll errors. The app also helped in identifying behavioral patterns and monitoring employee movement in the work premises, calculating the exact time spent on the shop floor and inside the factory. 

The impact of your DX initiative should be uniform and help organizations meet the right business objective, irrespective of their size.

2. Adopting a case-specific approach

It is good to be inspired by great initiatives around the globe. But like every lock has a different key, every problem has a different solution. Think broad, think far. Do not jump to solutions that might look great but only work temporarily or within limited business verticals. In the above case, while the mobile app came across as a perfect solution, it worked because it was tailor-made for their global architecture and was not central to a department/country/region.

It is disheartening to see great technology initiatives crashing at the hands of poor integration. Thus, centrally align your DX initiatives and focus on building a technology architecture that matches the DNA of your business. This architecture would further work as a blueprint for smaller businesses. With many technologies in their maiden state right now, there’s scope to develop an enterprise architecture that will be a benchmark in its industry and accelerate growth and speed across all business verticals.

3. Acing the multidimensional approach

Short-term success seems lucrative, but it may lead to long-term failures. Therefore, it is pivotal to visualize the bigger picture for maximum ROI. Prepare a checklist and rope in all factors to ensure overall process efficiency.

Collaboration is the key to success. IT department should coordinate with the strategy team and devise an integrated process for overall functioning. The business processes should be ranked in order of their complexity, data availability, impact, etc., and resolved one by one, deriving inputs from the previous ones.

That is what we did when a Telco giant approached us to help them improve their field service operations. We studied how their value chain functions to provide them a range of solutions with practical implementation techniques. The solution was engineered to derive inputs from the previous steps and the results were beyond our client’s expectations.

4. Data-driven strategies and change management in business

Every DX strategy should be capable of dealing with change. If you are a data-driven organization, you need next-level change management to rule out the possibility of “experience bias.” While structuring the DX strategy, your focus should be on its long-term impact and scalability.

The strategy should have a fair bit of flexibility to alter itself as and when required. Also, decentralize the decision-making, for it provides flexibility to the strategy, enabling teams to drive results within their defined business territories.

Lastly, do not fall into the obsession with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Undoubtedly, AI and ML have reformed the face of technology. However, to become a data-driven organization, you need smart technology integration. And for that, you require a full-proof business strategy.

Remember, technology is just a channel; the solution is your strategy.

5. Transformation never stops, learning never stops

Business transformation is a journey, not a destination. What is relevant today might be obsolete a couple of decades down the line. But every transformation delivers valuable lessons. The key is to adopt appropriate methods and technologies to cater to the evolving business needs, customer relations, and address the issues that come along the journey.

No analytics model, however, data-driven it is, can provide 100% accuracy and there is always scope for optimization. Seldom do we hear of a “once and for all” kind of digital transformation solution. To cite an example, optimization of any supply chain in almost all organizations requires continuous alterations in the system.

Conclusion

Every business aims for long-term success but only those businesses who are open to change and alter their approach along the way can achieve success. A comprehensive digital transformation strategy can give your organization a successful digital makeover and ensure that your business is future-ready.

About the Author
NLB Team